The BreastScreen NSW mobile clinic is in Yass until February 18, providing free mammograms to eligible women.
In NSW one in seven women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime but a mammogram can pick up cancers that cannot be seen or felt.
For women over 40 years old, a mammogram is the most effective method of finding breast cancer early.
Berinba Public teacher Hayley Bradley scheduled her mammogram last February after a friend posted a reminder on Facebook that the mobile clinic was coming to Yass.
“I had no symptoms at all,” she said. “I just thought, ‘Okay, I’m 42 I’ll go and have a mammogram.”
Hayley recieved a callback and went to Queanbeyan for a biopsy after she was informed they had detected some cells they wanted to have a closer look at.
“I was in early stages of breast cancer.”
“Within a couple of weeks, I was having surgery in Canberra and had a lumpectomy.”
Hayley’s surgery was followed by four treatments of chemotherapy where she drove to Canberra every three weeks before having radiation over the course of a month.
The lump detected in Hayley’s breast was just 16mm in diameter located towards her chest wall, which is why she couldn’t feel it herself yet.
Hayley said even though the lump was only small it had a high grading meaning it would likely replicate quickly.
“I did not have any symptoms,” she said. “You look up the typical symptoms and I was just blown away because I didn’t feel a lump, I didn’t have a change of skin, I had nothing, no indicators, I did not feel unwell.”
“It was just by sheer luck that I went to the van,” Hayley said. “It’s saved my life, well given me more time anyway.”
“It’s given me a fighting chance.”
Now 43, Hayley is not yet classified as in remission, but her doctors’ say she should not have cancer.
“If the van didn’t come here, I would not have even thought to go somewhere and have a mammogram,” she said. “No symptoms? Why would I need a mammogram?”
But Hayley said if she had symptoms of breast cancer, she would have found the closest place to get a mammogram.
The BreastScreen NSW van will be at the Yass Showground (entry via Grand Junction Road).
The service is free for women over 40 and there’s no referral needed. The mobile clinic visiting Yass is equipped with a lift system to support women with health conditions or disabilities to have their mammograms.
Women with additional needs are encouraged to let BreastScreen know when booking their appointment.
BreastScreen NSW Mobile vans include the latest digital mammography technology and secure wireless communication system.
Book a mammogram with BreastScreen NSW or phone 13 20 50.
Year-round screen services are also available at the Breast Screen NSW clinic in Queanbeyan.
For more information visit www.breastscreen.nsw.gov.au/about
By Brianna O’Rourke